Security Experts Recommend Crisis Communication for War on Terror Campaigns
Security and communication Experts have recommended the deployment of crisis communication tools to fight terrorism, armed banditry and kidnapping in Nigeria.
The experts were members of a panel of discussant at a conference/dinner organised by the 2018/2019 set of Master of Public Relations students of Bayero University, Kano (BUK), on crisis management in Kano.
In an opening salvo at the event, the former spokesman of the Nigerian Army, Brigadier General Sani Usman Kukasheka (rtd), disclosed that the Nigerian military deployed crisis communication strategies and aggressive public relations campaigns in countering dirty propaganda of Boko Haram terrorists in reducing their influence on the populace in the affected areas.
His words, “The terrorists had almost consumed the entire North East and some parts of the country before 2015 when when they had enjoyed all the media platforms, including radio, Youtube, twitter and other unconventional means to their advantage. There was a missing link: communication. The narrative was so overwhelming that, even the troops at the theatre were largely demoralised because the picture being painted by the terrorists through their communication channels was as if the bandits had more than one life.”
Kukasheka, who hails from Katsina State contended that the military was able to counter the negative narrative of the terrorists with the deployment of effective crisis communication management that substantially crippled the terrorists’ channels of communication, a paradigm shift that helped the military regain strength and morale.
Also speaking at the occasion, an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Baba Muhammad said the threat posed by rampant kidnapping in northern part of the country can be tackled through stakeholders engagement and aggressive sensitization campaign.
He revealed that the criminals are now employing news tricks by using social media platforms for recruiting new members and launching attacks on their victims.
“These bandits no longer engage in physical recruitment where they used to recruit almajiris as members. They are now sophisticated enough to recruit members through Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Instagram and others. They use these platforms to recruit members.
“So, the only way to counter their tricks is to be knowledgeable enough and be on those social media platforms. If they are on Facebook, be on Facebook, if they are on Twitter, be on Twitter.
“As a PR practitioner, you must widen your horizon and be versatile in order to use your profession in checking the menace of insecurity in this country,” he advised
Mr Mohammad also called on PR practitioners to contribute their quotas in checking the menace of kidnapping and terrorism.
President of Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), Mukhtar Surajo, who was President of Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), Muktar Surajo, who was special guest at the dinner, insisted that the deployment of troops might not end the battle against Boko Haram, which is largely rooted in ideological creed.
Surajo, who noted that the Nigerian government had applied wrong method for too long to manage the crisis in the North East, however advocated strategic communication management that will address the recruitment market for the bandits, which he identified as unemployment.
He Special Guest at the occasion insisted that the deployment of troops might not end the battle against Boko Haram, which is largely rooted in the ideological creed.
Surajo, who noted that the Nigerian government had applied the wrong method for too long to manage the crisis in the North East, however, advocated strategic communication management that will address the recruitment market for the bandits, which he identified as unemployment.
The NIPR Boss also urged the MPR graduates to join the institute to enable them to become professional PR practitioners as he assured them of “special consideration” to those who want to register with the NIPR.
Other members of the panel included Professor Umar Pate, Dean of Postgraduate School and Mallam Aminu Hamza, Chairman of NIPR Kano Chapter. Mr. Yushau Shuaib of PRNigeria moderated the session.